tv Eyewitness News Upclose ABC August 21, 2016 11:00am-11:31am EDT
?? >> this is "eyewitness news upclose." >> it's new yorker versus new yorker in the presidential election. hillary clinton versus donald trump -- the two candidates with the highest unfavorable ratings of any nominees to ever run for president. but here in new york, much attention on these two hometowners. will it be low voter turnout trend in new york city? now the city's five borough presidents deciding to try to do something about it. they're participating in what they're calling "the battle of the boroughs" to get out the vote. it's not really a battle, of course. it's a friendly contest, but one that could change voting history. good morning, everyone. welcome to "upclose." i'm bill ritter. the percentage of new yorkers voting in the last couple of city elections not exactly earning any good citizenship awards. in the midterm election two years ago, 29% of eligible
their ballots. in the 2013 mayoral election in the city, only 24% of registered voters went to the booth. now a big effort to try to jump-start a get-out-the-vote campaign and increase voter turnout. and that campaign, led by the five borough presidents of new york city, the league of women voters of the city of new york, and we here at wabc-tv channel 7. as it happens, two of the borough presidents are here with us this morning -- gale brewer of manhattan, ruben diaz jr. from the bronx. we'r campaign to get out the vote and, because i'm a reporter, i can't miss the opportunity to also talk about some of the important issues and concerns that are on the minds of new yorkers. welcome, both of you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> so, tell me exactly, either one wants to start -- we'll start with the woman, i guess. [ chuckles ] ms. brewer. or maybe i should reverse that, not be sexist. let's start with the guy. um, what is this campaign -- >> we're in her borough, right? >> what is this campaign about? >> first of all, let me just thank the league of women voters, and i want to thank abc for being a part of this. this is a challenge, as it was said in the opening remarks.
we're challenging new yorkers to allow for their voices to be heard and to have their votes counted. we know one thing, bill, that when you speak of governing and you speak of policy, you can't have strong policy without having strong politics. and quite often, decisions are made, unfortunately, based on voter turnout. so, if you look at our boroughs, if you look at certain parts of our boroughs, what we've been seeing over the last couple of elections is a precipitous drop in participation. >> why is that? >> it' one, we have to educate folks as to who the candidates are and what they stand for. but we also -- i think it's incumbent upon us in government to be able to push for certain things like same-day registration, making sure that we have electronic voter registration, to make sure that we have early voter registration, to look at polling sites and see whether or not they're too far away from where people live. if you ask me, why, in the age
so that people can vote from their cellphones, from their computers? these are all things that we should be talking about. it's a little too late to do that for this election year, but nonetheless, what we want is for people to understand that this is an important election -- the presidential election -- and there are many important local elections, that they need to come out, and we want that voter participation to increase. >> but you've heard the -- gale, you've heard the criticism of doing something like that, like ruben says -- you know, voting they're talking about security and making sure that people don't vote twice. there are enough ways to determine that, though, right? >> i mean, there are cellphone and electronic, but there's also why can't we vote -- right now, you cannot get an absentee vote unless you're sick or you have some legitimate reason. other states, like colorado, have started, two weeks in advance, people have time to vote -- way up in terms of participation. same thing with same-day voting. you know what happens? people move to new york, they forget to register, the election
same-day registration. and also, what about the issue of being able to register automatically? right? now you have to figure out how to register, you have to vote by a certain -- register by a certain date. that's another topic. you should see how far in advance you have to register in order to vote. so, all of these things are possible. in other states, they're doing them. vote by mail. >> so, that's one aspect of the campaign. >> let me just say this -- that every day, people are purchasing and they have sensitive information that they put into types of -- >> they use their credit cards. >> yeah, they have all of that stuff on the cellphones, and yet, by and large, obviously there's some voter -- there's security issues with that, but for the most part, i think that we can get it right. and when it's all said and done, what do we want? we want people to take this right that they have and use it so they can allow for their voices to be heard. and it will ultimately better
housing. all of the issues that people are concerned with, the best way to participate is to cast that vote. >> this has to be done on the state level. we cannot do this in new york city. >> as the borough presidents, you can't do that. >> no, but not even the city council, not even the mayor. it has to go to albany. and so far, to be honest with you, the republicans don't want same-day registration, vote early, vote by mail. >> and why do you think that is? >> because i think more democrats would, in fact, vote. even though we are a democratic state, even more would register as democratic. that's wt make it easier to register, easier to vote, and then the republicans feel that more democrats would, in fact, vote. but we need -- every other state that has instituted some of these has a higher percent -- we are 44th in the united states in terms of people participating in the voting process. >> but understand this -- so, we are outlining the things that we believe can help with participation in the future. this campaign, with the league of women voters and what
election cycle. >> right. >> and saying, "many of you have already registered to vote." in fact, in the bronx, we are a borough of 1.4 million. over 500,000 -- close to 600,000 people in the bronx have already registered to vote. and yet, in the last election, we get less than 20% of those who are registered come out and vote. >> very few. >> so, what we're saying is, you know, people have died for this right. there are people in other parts of the country who are fighting and yet we have them here in the city of new york. we have them in our boroughs, and you're not taking advantage of this opportunity. >> and october 14th is the deadline. people should know. october 14th, and then you can vote on november 8th, which is the general election. >> now, that's a pretty small gap. if all the elections were like that, we'd be in pretty good shape, right? 'cause some of the people were complaining in the primaries you had to register in october to vote in april, and that's a very long time. >> right. >> the october 15th is a good gap. >> october 14th. >> yeah. october 14th. so, you'd like that for all of
sense, but you have to be -- it's complicated. we have so many elections, also. that's the other issue. in the state of new york, we've had four elections by the time the general is over, if you count the three primaries. so, i do think we need to get people out for the general election. they need to register by october 14th. but we do need to, for the future, deal with some of these other issues that ruben and i are talking about. >> and i think it's -- you know, a part of the country -- a large part of the country is going the other way. the supreme court ruled and cut away the voting rights act, and that has -- you got to fight right now, besides coming on the show and talking about it, what are you guys gonna do about getting people out to vote? >> well, we're always at the street fairs. we're at the new york city housing authority family days. we talk about this everywhere we go. we hand out the voter registration forms. in fact, we just got boxes and boxes of them into our office. we have a storefront office on 125th street. we're making sure that all the nonprofits that do events between now and october 14th
but we want to make sure more young people participate. >> do you -- >> i'm sorry, bill, but for me, what we also try to do is we have to motivate the voters. we have to let them know that the fact that they participate, that there are great things happening in their communities, so for instance, every time we make a new announcement or we have a new announcement in the bronx -- just the other day, we've announced the opening of silvercup studios, which creates jobs. we've done a food hub. we've done all of this in the speaker of the new york state assembly. so, every time we make these announcements, every time we say that we've reduced the unemployment rate over the last seven years from 14% to 7% -- more than half -- where 100,000-plus more bronxites are working today than the first day i took office, i say, "i couldn't do this alone. i could only do this with partnerships up in albany and in the city of new york. and the only way they're gonna respond to us is if you come out and vote." >> do you think that having hillary clinton and
one of them's yours, one's not the bronx, but regardless -- you don't think that's gonna increase the voter turnout in new york city? >> i think that hil-- i mean, from my perspective, having hillary as a woman and a new york state senator, in particular -- people loved her when she was senator -- is gonna help. yes. i think it will help, particularly with some of the women, who see her as -- first time. yes. i think it will help. >> i think it slices both ways. they'll be motivated because we know hillary clinton, because as a u.s. senator, she was there because they don't like what donald trump stands for -- the divisiveness, the fact that he attacks -- he's attacked every single community, whether they're latinos, whether it's muslims, whether he's attacking families who have lost their kids, you know, in war, their children in war. so, i think the voter turnout will be higher because they're motivated -- they're pro-hillary and because they're anti-trump. >> the trump campaign, of course, would say the exact opposite of that, but that's not in -- that's immaterial. the one republican borough president we have, from
not make it today, so that's your perspective. but i appreciate and understand what you're saying. will you stay with us for another segment? got a lot to talk to you about. okay. we continue our discussion with two of new york's borough presidents, gale brewer of manhattan, ruben diaz jr. from the bronx, when we continue right after this. ?? i absolutely love my new york apartment, but the rent is outrageous.
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really feeling good about getting their kids into the school at an early age, and it's free. um, i think that the cost of living in manhattan is so astronomical in terms of the rents and the cost of living. we still do not have enough affordable housing. i know that's a goal and an agenda, but we do not have enough. >> maybe the most important issue, do you think, if you had to put one important issue -- the most -- >> i would say the lack of affordable housing is an important issue, and the fact is how do we see that happening in i think the other issue is something that may not be in other boroughs. we are losing our mom-and-pop stores. people care desperately about the local drug store, local hat store, shoe store. that's a real concern, also. >> you see it in manhattan all over the place. >> yes. >> "for rent" signs by landlords who seem -- just from my layperson perspective -- seem to not mind having an empty store rather than getting the rent that might not be as high as someone else is gonna pay. >> they're waiting for a chain store, i'm afraid. and what we want are the mom-and-pops to be able to be
borough of manhattan. i think people are also concerned about just jobs in general. people are working two or three jobs, in some cases, and so those are the issues. i don't think they're different than other parts, but they're intensified here in the borough of manhattan. >> borough president diaz? >> so, we've been doing a lot of great work around economic development over the last seven years. since i've been the borough president, we've seen 54 million square feet of economic development, over $10 billion of private money that's been invested in our borough. like i said earlier, we've been able to shave unemployment by and we need to do more. we need to make sure that people get to work. we need to do more around our transportation infrastructure. and we would like to see the city do more around education in our borough. for too long, we feel, in the bronx, that we got the short end of the stick when it comes to education. and we would like to see more attention given by the department of education. >> but for so long -- we were talking earlier. for so long, the motto in the bronx was, you know, "get educated and get out." >> right.
>> especially when some areas are getting gentrified. >> this is the reason why gale and i -- we kind of disagreed on the mayor's plan for zoning. because i felt that if it's not broke, you shouldn't try to fix it. and one size does not fit all. what's good for manhattan may not be good for the bronx. and for us, while we will continue to do more low-income housing to make sure that people are not displaced, and that is an issue and we need to address that and continue to address it, but for me, i also want to make sure that we do some mix the bronx so we can retain our professionals. in years past, like you said, bill, many people in the bronx were -- it was engraved in them. you get your education, you get your career, and you get out. but with all of the great things that are happening in our borough, the progression that's happening in the bronx, the fact that we're not the bronx of the '70s and the '80s, more people want to stay. a lot of these young professionals make "too much money" for the low-income, affordable housing and they can't buy a home.
them. and i just thought that the city could do more in that area. >> and the flip side for that in the bronx, in some areas, is that when you gentrify a community, the people who don't have any money are forced out. you're saying that that's not happening enough. that's not what i hear you're saying. >> i'm totally against gentrification. that's not what i'm saying. what i'm saying is that there are areas of the bronx where we need to develop the mixed income, a little higher -- median income -- the average median income, or every median income so that we can who don't want to leave so that, this way, you're not doing gentrification. you're not forcing a community out to bring another one in. >> we do have the opposite problem. we do have gentrification. so, we're working in east harlem. we're working in inwood, chinatown, noho, soho, every single place, to try to do what we call pre-planning. so, before this rezoning or special permits, we're sitting down with all the stakeholders, the business people, community boards, and so on, saying, "okay, before there's any change in the zoning of this neighborhood, we have to have a plan."
rent-stabilized apartments that are where the middle class could, in fact, get a hold and stay in their neighborhood. and if new housing comes in, it has to be enough -- for manhattan, anyway -- of affordable, and then you go through what level of affordability. >> is it too later already? have we already lost the middle class in new york city? >> well, i'm not gonna give up. that's not who i am. we need the middle class, and we need artists. those are the two categories that we are losing if we don't put a stop to it. so, we're working really hard to make sure that the rent-regulated do stay and t we have new affordable that would, in fact -- we need a new mitchell lama program. that would be the best part of keeping the middle class in the city of new york. >> and that's the reason why people have to vote -- so that they know up in albany. >> bringing it around to the message, are you? >> right. so that they know in albany and in city hall that our boroughs are serious about good policy and things that we're concerned with. but we're only gonna get that attention if they see an increase in voter turnout. >> let me switch gears completely and talk about the police. because both of your boroughs
understand, and certainly the people do in the boroughs and in new york city the tension that existed between many communities in new york and the police three years ago. it seems like it has eased up a lot, and a lot of people are giving credit to bill bratton, who is leaving on september 15th, retiring. and james o'neill is taking over. bratton -- a big loss to the city, maybe the mayor's most valuable person in the administration. how about o'neill? what's in store for the new york police department? >> well, i know jimmy o'neill well, and i think he'll do a great job. people in the public know bratton. him extremely positive and great to work with. what we've been doing in manhattan, which i think helps, is working with nypd, having forums all through the borough, to talk about police with, at the table, young people, community residents at the table, to talk about racism, police/community relations. it's been very successful. 300 or 400 people showing up at every one. did a report, and i think people understand that the discussion,
important. >> even though it didn't go without any hiccups, bill bratton has given a lot of years to the city and law enforcement, and we wish him well in his retirement. but jimmy o'neill is someone who has a lot of credibility with folks. and also, the fact that he's gonna become the new police commissioner and the ascension of carlos gomez, someone who was a commanding officer of the bronx -- i think it makes a lot of people in the bronx and other parts of the city comfortable that we are headed yes, there have been issues in the past, and there probably will continue to be issues, but for the most part, both the police and the community understand that we need each other. people know that the men and women in uniform are out there fighting every day to keep the bronx and the rest of the city safe. the bronx is the safest that the world has seen in 50 years. and that's because not only do we have a good police department but also because we have a law-abiding citizenry that's working together with everyone.
and done, unfortunately, it gets highlighted, but the majority of the people know that the majority of the police officers are good. and the majority of the police officers know that the majority of the community are good, as well. >> and i think under bratton and certainly under jimmy o'neill, you'll see the training improving. there are 3,000 officers who'll be coming through the academy. >> new cops. yeah. >> new cops. and the training is different and, i think, more intensive. and the neighborhood feeling that we're both talking about is part of that training. >> thank you both for joining us. ta out the vote, and it's good you're leading the charge. let's hope it works. >> thank you. >> october 14th. >> all right. register to vote by october 14th for the election. all right. thank you very much, both of you, gale brewer and ruben diaz. if you want more information about the election, go to our website and the website, also, of the league of women voters for the city of new york -- lwvnyc.org -- or call them -- 212-725-3541. again, our thanks to gale brewer and ruben diaz.
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>> welcome back to "upclose." another shake-up in the trump campaign, an assault on the media, and new polls in battleground states. that was the week that was in this presidential race and politics. so analysts doug schoen and hank sheinkopf here to discuss it. uh, the shake-up. >> yeah. >> how big a deal? did it hurt trump?
>> oh, i don't think it's gonna make a difference with the voters. i think it speaks more to the instability, if you will, in his campaign structure that he's had three campaign managers in the last six months. >> it's not unusual for campaigns to do this every once in a while. >> uh, it's not wise and is kind of unusual in a presidential campaign. you do your best in presidential campaigns, as doug knows and i know, to make sure you don't appear to be unstable or out of control. >> and is that what's happened, do you think? see what happens. right now, you know, as we were saying before, hillary has a six or seven point lead, but in the swing states, it's even bigger. she's probably, at this point, over 350 electoral votes, and she's outspent "the donald" $100 million to no dollars in those swing states on super pac
about, hank, the vote in terms of the polls of likely voters -- and we're getting more in the likely voters than registered republicans and democrats and registered voters. but it's not just the votes -- what the polls show. it's, in fact, where they are in the electoral college, and that's really what matters here. >> it really does matter. and what also matters here, bill, is the u.s. senate. you know, in states where this is occurring, there are an awful lot of senate races that are marginal at best. republicans are gonna have real trouble holding on if this continues. the republicans who would give money to campaigns are gonna quickly. >> if you were advising the trump campaign, you see trump go back and forth. he uses the prompter sometimes. he goes off it. he feels, clearly, more comfortable, he talks like this, more animated. if not, he's sort of more stiff and everything. uh, you get the idea that he would like to go off it all the time. you also get the idea that his handlers are saying, "stay on it, because it keeps you on message." >> we've had two or three instances since the convention -- the
isis. these were, i think, cases where donald trump was speaking extemporaneously. so, i would say -- and i'm curious hank's view -- that he needs to stick with the prompter, stick with a message, and be focused in talking about why he can bring america the change 70% want, particularly vis-?-vis the economy, jobs, and terror. >> the fact that he is losing -- beginning to lose significantly in states where numbers of white, blue-collar men is an indicator of how he's off track. he's got to, as doug said, get back on track quickly, pay attention to what he's saying, and be more careful. he's not careful. presidential campaigns are about being strategically smart and careful in your daily conduct. he's violated both those rules very quickly and with great -- and constantly. >> and yet even when we he stays, quote/unquote, "on message," uses the prompter, the other day, he talked about police and domestic security,
so, when he even appears to win a little bit, he loses to some degree. >> well, that's right. i mean, you know, he was doing a foreign policy speech, bill, and then the issue of paul manafort's ties to ukraine came to dominate the next day's coverage and the shake-up that was coming, not -- not trump's speech on foreign policy. >> it already seems like the longest campaign in the history of humanity. uh, and a lot of experts say -- i don't know what you guys say, really change. i don't know how they're gonna change any much more, but will we see a change come labor day? >> look, campaigns in the united states used to last for six weeks. they used to start on labor day, presidential campaigns, and end on election day. what's gonna change? people are gonna get tired, and the campaigns won't have enough new, negative information to toss out to reporters about the other side. then something's gonna happen. trump gets money, he gets real money to put up on television and he goes after secretary clinton, this may change a bit, but again, there's
get past. >> how important will these debates be, doug? >> i was gonna say there's one big question mark. that's the first debate. if donald trump can break through -- and that's a big "if" -- then the tenor of the race can change. if he doesn't, i think it is gonna be the secretary of state who will win, probably a comfortable victory. >> and do you have a situation where trump is going to be feeling panicked? a lot of people are talking are they gonna feel kind of panicked? go after one news channel that you happen to sometimes appear on? go after hillary, saying mrs. clinton seem to be medically unfit to be president? is that gonna go very far? we have about 30 seconds. >> that was nuts. he's got to stay to the issues and show he knows what he's talking about. >> hank couldn't be more right. trump is a very good debater. he's smart. but he has to be focused and cut out the extreme rhetoric. >> okay. doug schoen, hank sheinkopf, thank you. we'll see you next time.
americans may face this election isn't who to vote for but whether to vote at all. as we heard earlier from the new york city borough president this morning, they are trying to change that. we should all try to change that because not voting is a kind of vote anyway, right? because you're choosing to let someone else make the decision instead of you. october 14th -- your deadline to register for the november 8th presidential general election. and that'll do it for this edition of "up close." "up close" -- i mean, "tiempo" with joe torres is coming up next. if you happened to miss any of today's program, you can catch it again o for all of us here at channel 7, i'm bill ritter. thanks for watching, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
?? >> buenos d?as y bienvenidos. good morning. welcome once again to "tiempo." i'm joe torres. this morning, we take a look at a free -- that's right, free -- soccer camp in northern manhattan where there is a significant immigrant popu no news there. the camp, however, is in need of a little help. take a look at the field there. well, camp organizers want elected officials and community leaders to revamp the dyckman fields where the kids play. the details on that coming up in just a few minutes. right now, though, we focus once again on education. the new school year, just weeks away. and there is a model school in washington heights. the new heights academy truly sets the bar high for schools everywhere by preparing